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Old 11-17-2014, 10:45 PM   #1
Robert Foster
 
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Default New Owner Questions

I plugged my Westy into shore power for the first time. What is the piece of equipment opposite the water heater in the passenger side rear closet with the air intake hose going through the floor ? There's a fan in there that's been running ever since I plugged in. Nothing is turned on in the rig except the main 12V battery switch.

Are the manuals pictured below, the primary/only general manuals for these Westfalias ? I've read the Motorhome Supplement but find it very lacking in information.

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Old 11-17-2014, 11:22 PM   #2
OldWest
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Default Re: New Owner Questions

1. Opposite water heater behind black or metal cover, are two converters to convert 120 volts to 12 volts to run rooftop Kerstner AC. There is also a cooling exhaust fan. The far right 120 volt circuit breaker is for rooftop air conditioner. Flip to off position switch and fan will turn off.

2. Those are the main manuals. Airstream also added items like the generator, TV, TV antenna, phone and cable jack, etc., which are not included in the manual.

3. There are various quirks. For example, the central computer console shows gray water tank as full or not, no levels, and no icon at all if tank is not full. The black water tank sensors are useless (gauge above kitchen cabinet) unless prior owners cleaned out tank everytime dumped. Otherwise, sensors corrode (sensors are dangling rods of various lengths).
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: New Owner Questions

For the last 7 years or so, Westy owners in New York state have hosted a Labor Day get together of Westy owners. Very worthwhile to attend and learn about Westies. Sometimes, owners will demonstrate maintenance services.

There is also a Yahoo Sprinter Westfalia group, but the format changed and various members have opted for this forum only (but many owners still participate on both). The German James Cook forum also is a great source of general info on the European side, and the moderator there has set up an English sub forum for us.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: New Owner Questions

Also check out various posted links in this forum with additional info like the Espar owners/installation manual, etc.

Most importantly, there should be a posted link to the West alia Repair Manual download, Airstream parts catalog, etc.
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:50 AM   #5
Robert Foster
 
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Default Re: New Owner Questions

Thank you OldWest.

I turned off the fan.

I joined the Yahoo Group, but the format doesn't appeal to me nearly as well as the Forum format here, so I'll hang out here mostly.

I saw the New York gathering and will hopefully be able to make it up there. I was an active member of Advrider in the early days and helped put on the Eastern Rendezvous for three years down in NC. Good times they were. I'm looking forward to combining my dual sport riding with Westy touring. I'm probably going to get the smallest possible cargo trailer to haul my motorcycle, bicycle and kayak in.

I purchased this Westfalia prematurely. I knew I wanted one but was planning on waiting another year when I become an empty nester, then this one came up for sale, felt right and I jumped. Glad I did, but consequently I haven't done all my homework yet. If my business ever slows down I'm looking forward to pouring through all those links at the top of the page. The Westfalia Repair Manual probably has the type of information that I find lacking in the Motorhome Supplement.

I installed cleaning nozzles in both the black and gray water tanks of my Winnebago View for just the reason you mentioned. It's nice to have a heads up before the black tank overflows.
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Last edited by Robert Foster; 11-18-2014 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 11-20-2014, 03:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: New Owner Questions

Robert, Welcome to the fold. Many quirky tricks associated w/ the rig, but this site and group is very helpful
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Old 12-15-2014, 02:58 AM   #7
Robert Foster
 
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Default Re: New Owner Questions

I've started doing some preventative maintenance. I was on Amazon, so I ordered a new anode rod and temperature pressure relief valve for the water heater. Middle of last week I took a sharp awl and trimmed all the corrosion away from around the exposed outer thread on both the anode road and TPRV threads. I've been spraying some penetrating oil on them each day until today when I tried to remove them both. The anode rod came out with a breaker bar and as you can see in the picture, it might be the original one.

I didn't have much success with removing the TPRV. I removed the combustion chamber exhaust hood for better access and was using a pair of very large channel locks, but no going. I tried tapping gently repeatedly on the TPRV with a hammer to try to vibrate the threads a little in the hope that they would let go, but still nothing.

I thought that I could go procure a short section of 3/4 male threaded pipe to insert in the end of the TPRV for better leverage than I'm getting with the channel locks. The female end of the TPRV is fortunately pointing down at about 45 degrees towards the combustion chamber, which would allow me enough room to just break it loose. Any suggestions?

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Last edited by Robert Foster; 12-15-2014 at 03:00 AM.
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:04 PM   #8
discus
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Default

Do you really need to replace the valve? They don't usually go bad.


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Old 12-15-2014, 04:55 PM   #9
MrTomacco
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Default Re: New Owner Questions

You will want to flush all the sediment out of the bottom of the hot water heater too. I made up a hose to 1/4 inch copper tubing adapter and bend the copper tubing a bit so I can put it in the anode hole and flush out the accumulated crud.

My hot water heater wants to rust so I spray the surfaces with WD-40 every fall.

Rob
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:37 PM   #10
Robert Foster
 
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Default Re: New Owner Questions

TPRV do go bad, especially when they are not operated regularly to clean the waterway through the valve so that it doesn't get corroded/full of mineral deposits. The TPRV valve action was almost none existent when I operated it and there was absolutely no discharge from the valve when I used the water heater for a few days. In closed systems like on the Westfalia, where there is no expansion tank installed to absorb thermal expansion, it's typical to see some occasional discharge from the TPRV. I don't have a lot of faith that the TPRV is actually operational. The $14.00 spent on a new one is a prudent safe guard to me. I inspect houses for a living and it is rare that home owners even understand what the TPRV is for much less do the recommended cleaning discharges.

My plan is to spray rinse water through the TPRV hole, once I get the TPRV removed and watch all the crud come shooting out all over my driveway through the anode rod hole.
Your crud tool is a good idea for annual cleanings. Thanks.

I assume you are spraying the WD-40 on the exterior parts of the tank that you can see when you open the door on the exterior of the Sprinter ? My combustion chamber is very rusted, but the outside of the tank that I can see is in pretty good shape. I thought I might put a wire brush in a drill and clean up my combustion chamber a bit.
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